The Giants problems are a giant problem

Giants Problems

Another week, another loss and another lost opportunity for the New York football Giants.  As the season goes on it’s becoming that the biggest problem the Giants currently have is the lack of available talent. Remove O’Dell Beckham and the offense have Eli and a bunch of middle of the road linemen.  The running game is showing some life but nothing consistent.  The once deep in talent wide receiving corp is now O’Dell Beckham and the other guys.  The defense has no upfront explosion on the line, outside of respectable play by JPP and the line backers continue to follow in the great Giants tradition of late of being forgettable.  Our corners are compromised by the weakness at Safety.

Week 15 Losses consolidated

 

The Giants season comes down the Eagles vs. Redskins game tonight (Saturday).  If the Eagles beat the Redskins the Giants will have to play for the season tomorrow night against the Vikings.  If the Redskins win tonight they will win the NFC East and the Giants playoff hopes will disappear as well.

Week 15 Redzone Goal To Go

week 15 Third downs

The Giants continue to underperform in key parts of the field. Most importantly on third down where they only converted 40% of the time last week which was slightly above their season average of 38%.  Sunday also was another game when the GMEN didn’t have a single “Goal to Go” although they were an impressive 3 for 4 inside the red zone.

So it comes down to this. We watch, we wait; we hope.




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Posted in Regular Season

Analytics are tough in the NFL but trends do exist: Wins vs. Losses

2015 week 13

The Giants defense continues to struggle to put teams away late.  I’m willing to make the argument that the pace of the offense greatly affects the Giants ability to rest their defense throughout the game?  The offense is great when it’s rolling and moving the ball down field quickly and accurately. But when the Giants can’t run the ball, miss a second down pass play and face long third down, 62% of the time the defense will be on the field in less than two minutes.

Let’s take a look at some wins vs. loss trends

  • 7-turnovers in wins, 10-turnovers in losses
  • Time of possession (5/6 games) in wins 0/6 in losses)
  • 11 of 22 in wins & 8/31 in losses when in the red zone
  • 6 of 7 in wins & 5 of 9 in losses when facing “goal to go”
  • 77% converting on third down in wins against their season average of 38.64% & 36.08% in losses
  • 19 point differential wins ({29.33} points vs. losses {23.14})
  • Average 3-touchdowns in wins and 2.6 touchdowns in losses
  • 3 total sacks in wins vs 18 in losses



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Posted in Regular Season

The impact of a team with no running game is powering the Giants failures this season

Tom Coughlin arms

The last three games have been painful to watch as a New York Giants fan.  The Giants have tied an NFL record with 5-games in which they were leading into the final two minutes of the game and lost the game.   The last three games have been particularly hard to watch. The injuries to the already average offensive line have made the Giants so one sided it hard to believe they can still get the ball to O’Dell Beckham Junior (OBJ).  Against the Jets OBJ was targeted 42% of the time and made up 36% of the Giants total yards from scrimmage.  That is a reflection of the Jets defense but more importantly highlights the litany of problems the Giants have.

  • For a team that HAD a deep bench at wide receiver the Giants now seem thin at play makers. Harris (#3 WR) has stepped up huge this season essentially taking targets and catches as if he was the #2 WR.   Where is Rueben Randle?  Miles White (#19) who signed on a Tuesday mid-season has been getting reps and targets. What is going on!?!?!?!?
  • Dye has been a huge contributor at tight end/full back BUT the Giants lack a true blocking tight end.
  • The offensive line is battered but even before that McAdoo’s timing offense of creates a façade of good play. If you look at the running numbers they prove a different story. They’re blown off the line and leave the running back searching for the line of scrimmage.
  • The Giants defense is on the field A LOT. A three and out for the Giants can happen in less than 2-minutes with the McAdoo offense.  This is due to the complete lack of a productive running game.
  • The Giants are now using a running back by committee with four running backs. Four running backs is not the recipe of success.

The above contribute to this:

  • The Giants convert 38% on third downs, including 14/45 over the past three losses
  • 23 of 51 in the red zone and 1 for 9  over the past three losses
  • 12 of 23 in “goal to go”. If you can’t run the ball you’re probably scoring outside of “goal to go” situations
  • 29th in the NFL in rushing ahead of Charges, Lions and Browns
  • The Giants can’t run the ball so they can’t run the clock. They have won Time of Possession (TOP) only 3-times this year (two other “wins” were separated by less than a minute).  In the second Cowboy game the Cowboys had the ball for 17 more minutes.  In each loss the Giants have lost the TOP game.

If the Giants games were 75-second shorter the GMEN would be 10-2 and not 5-7. They currently have the toughest schedule remaining in the NFC East.  They could still win the division with no hope of a wildcard. It’s black and white this season; In order to play in January the Giants MUST win the NFC east.




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Posted in Regular Season

Past Results Not Indicative Future Performance

Brady sitting on the field

Not many teams can say they have a winning record against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Tom Coughlin is 5-1 in his career against Belichick and 3-1 since 2008 with two super bowl rings.  When Belicheck was asked about Coughlin his response was “Tom is very intense”.  Pot meet kettle.  Coughlin and Belicheck are disciples from the Parcells Giants era when Belichick was the defensive coordinator and Coughlin the wide receiver coach in the late 80’s.  If there is one coach in the NFL that doesn’t fear the Patriots, it’s Tom Coughlin.  Sunday’s game is strikingly similar to week 17 in 2007 when the Giants turned around their season and hosted the 15-0 Patriots in the final regular season game.  The Giants had secured their place in the playoffs as a wildcard. Nothing required the Giants to play with the intensity they did that night other than to show the NFL that Tom Coughlin doesn’t take a game off.  Sitting in the end zone seats that night I can tell you that outside of attending the Super Bowl 5 weeks later, the intensity in Giants Stadium and on the field was unbelievable.  Many of the Giants will attest that during that game the Patriots were forced to show many different looks previously not shown during the regular season. These new looks gave the Giants an edge when they would meet again in Glendale.  A great read regarding this game is a story about the voicemail left by John Madden for Tom Coughlin following the loss that night.

Here we are 8-years later and the Giants are hosting the 8-0 Patriots but this time the Giants need a win. With a slim 1-game lead over the Eagles (0-1) the Giants can’t afford another loss especially as the Eagles next three games include the Dolphins, Bucs and Lions.  Past results not indicative future performance; no words could better suit this game.

From an offensive standpoint you can expect both teams to be explosive though both the Giants and Patriots rushing games are bottom 1/4th of the league.  It’s okay because both of the teams do throw the ball effectively and frequently. The Giants have attempted 340 passes this season with the Patriots attempting 328. As we saw in New Orleans a shootout isn’t a problem for the Giants and the offense.  It’s the defense that is the question mark.

In the 2015 version the roles have been reversed on defense.  The Giants have the league’s lowest sack total of 9, while the Patriots triple that total with the NFL’s second highest total of 27.  Chandler Jones the defensive end for the Patriots has 9.5 sacks along this season; topping the entire Giants defense.  With the league’s worst pass defense matching up against the third best passing offense the Giants will be desperate to get to the Brady and create pressure.  With multiple injuries to the Patriots offensive line that can be a possibility. Possible, but probable?  Who knows!

There are many things the Giants can focus on for this game. How do they slow down the Brady, Gronk and Edleman? What if the Patriots abandoned the pass and attack with Blount & White running the ball against a bottom third rush defense?  The most difficult aspect of preparing for the Patriots is they don’t show the same scheme or play calling from week to week.  Like all NFL teams the Giants are suffering from injuries, on defense as well as on offense.  If there was a time for the front four to step and bring real pressure to the quarterback this is the week to do so. The thought of our linebackers and safeties matching up with a shifty Edleman (remember the Cowboy game where Beasley ran wild) or matching Gronk whose speed and size are freakish.

Outside of the Cowboy game there is no surprise that when the Giants win they control the time of possession.  The best way to beat a great offense is to keep them off the field.  But with an offense that can’t get a running game going all too often it feels more like a shootout than a game of control.  Over the past two games the Giants have drastically improved their redzone offense (6/8) and the goal to go (4/4).  If the running game continues to struggle than the offense needs to improve their 3rd down conversions one way or another. On the season the Giants convert 39.2% of the time and a woefully 21% of the time over the past two games.

Sunday will be a test to what the Giants can do with the limited resources they have available.

“Just called to congratulate you and your team for a great effort last night. Not good, but great. I think it’s one of the best things to happen in the NFL in the last ten years, and I don’t know if they all know it, but they should be very grateful to you and your team for what you did. I believe so firmly in this: that there is only one way to play the game, and it is a regular season game and you go out and win the darn game. I was just so proud being a part of the NFL and of what your guys did and the way you did it. You proved that it’s a game and there’s only one way to play the game and you did it. The NFL needed it. We’ve gotten too much of, “Well, they’re going to rest their players and don’t need to win, therefore they won’t win.” Well, that’s not sports and that’s not competition. I’m a little emotional about it. I’m just so proud. It’s something we all need to thank you for, and I believe the NFL needed that.”

-John Madden




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Posted in Regular Season

Thank You for the Turnovers but the Giants Are Still Far From Good

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 28:  Quarterback  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks on from the sideline in the second half during the preseason game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on August 28, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won 16-13. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The Giants are on an unknown course this season. They lead the NFL with a turnover differential of +9.  What that means is the offense is not turning the ball over; a fascinating change of pace for the Giants and Eli. This honor is really due to the Cowboys who in two games have given up the ball 7 out of 9 opportunities (recovered 2 of 3 of their fumbles).  In both games the Giants were not super impressive as much as they were able to take advantage of the situation.  Time of possession over two games has been laughable:  Cowboys 75 mins to the Giants 44 minutes. This is not how you win games.

Through seven games the Giants convert 40.63% of their third downs.  Against the Cowboys the Giants converted 3 of 11 attempts for a lowly 27%.  Four times they have fallen below the season average of 40%. Only against the Niners and Falcons have the Giants converted double digit third down as well as converted over 50% of their attempts.

Week 8 3rd downs

The most concerning statistic for the Giants is the lack of ability to score when inside the redzone. On the season the Giants are only converting 47% of the time they are inside the 20-yard line.  Against the Cowboys the Giants were 1/3 which would mark the 4th time this season they have converted only once when they had more than three chances inside the 20.  Things don’t improve either when they move closer to the end zone. When facing “goal to go” the Giants have only converted 46% of the time. There has been three games when the Giants haven’t even had a “goal to go” set of downs.

Redzone and goal to go week 8

The point of this post is that as good as we might believe the Giants are playing there is a tremendous amount of upside that they have potential to achieve.




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Posted in Regular Season

Things Went From Good to Really Bad.

Lost Eli

Things started out great and it was almost as if everything drastically changed after DaMontre Moore showcased why the Giants coaches don’t feel he is mature enough to get more burn. Or was it that Chip Kelly and the Eagles staff made in game adjustments that Coughlin and Giants couldn’t stop?  Whatever the cause, the Giants got out played in Philadelphia on National TV.  The promise of dominating the NFC East not only went out the door on Monday night but rather it leveled off the balance of power between Philadelphia, New York and Dallas.   At 3-3 the Eagles now lead the NFC East with the Giants 2nd with the same 3 – 3 records.  Both teams have struggled with inter division games with 1-2 records.

As we start week 7 there are now statistics available to see how things are working.  Last week “Elliot” Manning the evil twin to Eli Manning reared his ugly head.  The offensive line finally showed their weakness after the Eagles defense made adjustments and took ODB out of the game.  The offensive line would eventually lose one full second of protection to the Eagles defensive rush thus giving Eli 2-seconds when he needs 3 to make his reads and progressions.   That led to more “Elliot” Manning than “Eli” Manning like passes or pass attempts (the bowling attempt is a great example of Elliot).  The Giants had their lowest offensive production of the season. After starting the first quarter red hot they completely stalled only producing 247 yards.   The offensive line gave up 3-sacks, the second time this season (Cowboys game 1) after only giving up 3- over the past four games.  These statistics support the performance we saw on Monday night.

On the season the Giants continue to fall below the line in regards to third downs, redzone and Goal to go.  Shockingly Monday night didn’t showcase the Giants worst third down performance which actually came against the Bills (20%).  Monday the Giants were 4 for 13 against the Eagles for 30.77%.  On the season the Giants convert 42.35% on third downs.  Converting third downs are important because it keeps the defense on the field and drives alive.  The real concern through 6-games should be with their Redzone performance (inside the 20-yard line); a shaky 40%.  So for every ten visits to redzone, the giants kick a field goal 6.  Thing do increase when their facing “Goal to Go” with a 60% conversion rate to touchdowns.  Though you could argue 60% is still below what you’d expect when you’re within 10-yards. Especially with the multitude of weapons the Giants have on offense.

Week 6 Redzone Goal to Goweek 6 thid down

The Giants defense has played well in particular against the run but has plenty of room for improvement.  The Giants rush defense is now 7th (0.2 yards behind 6th) in the league.  Though top ten they’re slipping down the list each game as injuries chip away at their defense.  The pass defense has struggled from week 1, plagued by injuries and continues to underperform. You can draw parallels to this and their lack of pass rush.  The Giants have 8 sacks on the season just one more than the lowest.  The good news, if there is, they’re in company with some of the top defense in the NFL.

What the Giants can’t afford to repeat last Monday night. They also can’t afford to lose another NFC East game, especially against the Cowboys.  The Cowboys offense is still a big question mark with Romo out and Dez in question. But they’re pass rush is healthy and active.  The Giants will have their hands full especially since they’re 1-9 over the past three years against the Eagles and Cowboys.

 




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Posted in Regular Season

The Missing Person Report For Rueben Randle Has Been Closed

Andrew Williams Trenton Robinson

The Giants finally came out and played four quarters of football; kind of.  Besides nearly ruining every possible betting line in the fourth quarter, though ugly, the Giants closed out a football game and won a valuable and much needed NFC East match up against the Redskins.   The game looked great but when you look at some performance metrics it tells another story.  The fourth quarter became a little to interesting, the running game is still TBD and as much as I appreciate Randle’s contribution catching the ball his special teams contribution was very much not appreciated. It’s called hands team for a reason.

The defense played keeping the duo of Matt Jones and Alfred Morris to 88-yards which an impressive stat  considering the success these two have had early this season.  Last Sunday night’s performance leapfrogged the Giants to second against the rush 0.7 yards behind the Buffalo Bills.  Yet when it comes to passing the Giants are dead last in the NFL (Buffalo is 31st).   Cousins finished the game 30 for 49 with 316 passing yards. 316 passing yards…We can attribute this directly to the total lack of upfront pressure.  Cousins made many mistakes on Sunday night.  I would like to say the mistakes were the result of the Giants scheme but I have to be honest; it more of Cousin’s issues than the Giants play.  The Giant still struggle getting teams off the field when opposing teams are facing third downs. Though against the Redskins it was a season low the Redskins still converted 40% of their third downs. I would like to give a big acknowledgement to the Giants interior lineman who doesn’t get a lot of mentions. Hankin’s has been a real disruptor at the point of attack. Though this doesn’t result in sacks it doesn’t clog up on the middle and in passing scenario’s push the QB out of the pocket.  The Defense still has a lot of work to go but thus far has been good enough to keep the Giants competitive.

How long has it been since a Giant fans can talk about special teams and an not end each sentence with “how much worse can they get?”.  Not the case this year from punting, field goals and put return the Giants have been steadily improving. Many Giants fans were shocked and angry to see Jenning’s get penalized on the block punt. Thankfully for an offsetting penalty they had a second chance and Jenning’s logged his 10th career blocked punt. Yes that is correct 10th blocked punt. Since his days in Jacksonville and then in Oakland Jenning’s has continued to be a valuable special teams contributor. Previously he had to show his value behind Jones Drew and McFadden.  Even as the feature back he continues to play on special teams.   Harris brings real value to the punt and kick-off game for the Giants. It feels it’s only a matter of time before he rips off a return or two. We can only hope.

The Giants offense is creating opportunities. There have been drops but Eli has been slinging the ball around the field without being under duress.   Manning is 70 for 108 (64.8% completion) for 764 yards.  Up until last game he was throwing the ball to one primary receiver (ODB).  The Giants are averaging 8.7 yards per pass so Manning is pushing the ball down field.  Rueben Randle who had a missing person’s report issued after the first two games came up big on Sunday night with 7 catches for 116 yards with a TD including a 41 yard catch.  The attack will only improve when the Giants get Cruz back on the field. Cruz’s return will be delayed after taking the field on Thursday after 6-weeks to only re-aggravate his calf injury.  There is a lot of noise surrounding this lingering injury so it’s best to just wait and see.  Rather than introduce rookie Geremy Davis to the WR3 Dwayne Harris is now filling in.  There is a clear gap of confidence between Manning and Harris but over time we can only hope this shrinks.  Davis is  smaller receiver than Davis and complements the larger Randle. It will be great to see Harris fit in and find opportunities like so many other undersized receiver have across the NFL.  The offensive line is perfect but they clearly need to be applauded for keeping the heat of Manning which has limited the offense to one turnover through three games (fumble). The Giants have a +4 takeaways through the first three weeks which is one of the reasons why they should be 3-0 and not 1-2 (4th in NFL).  Where the offensive line has shown their weakness has been in the redzone. The Giants have consistently failed to turn over redzone opportunities into touchdowns (excluding the influence of Eli). 25%, 25% and 33% last week are not performance metrics that will sustain a winning season over 16-games.  This also comes back to the lack of run game and a few drops by our tight ends.

Perhaps this is the failure of the offensive line but the Giants running game has yet to really find it’s legs (get it legs).  Against the Redskins the Giants average 2.7 yards per rush. Jennings is currently 45th in the league in rushing.  The Giants are currently 23rd in rushing but have the potential to improve.  Williams showed his style of running on Sunday night introducing himself to Trenton Robinson in similar fashion as Jacobs did to Fred Smoot.  The Giants offense is still missing many many parts and the running game will eventually come around but it may need the pass game development (return of Cruz or development of Harris) before it can really flourish.

The Giants take on sexy rexy who has a chip on shoulder for being the step child of New York and constantly in the Giants shadow while with the Jets.  The Bills have one of best defenses in the league with a defensive minded coach who knows TC.   With a lack of pass rush Tyrod Taylor has shown he has the skill set to burn teams.  The Bills are not a team that Giants fans should over look. The Giants are massive underdogs in Vegas and will in fact have their hands busy in Buffalo.  If there was a time for the defense to come alive it will be this Sunday.  The Giants will need to control the ball and time of possession.  Keep the bills defense on the field to tire them out. That will require a running game and given the success of their passing game going against one of the best front four with two corners both with 2 INT’s this season the Giants will be tested.  The good news is the Bills defense is all for none as they are second worst in the NFL against the pass.  If the Giants win it will be a shootout and a close one 41-37.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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Posted in Regular Season

Let’s Not Overreact

Week 3

The Giants played yet another great three quarters of football only to give away another 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.  This might sound terrible but when you look back over the past two games and the Giants have played quality football. It’s the other two quarters that really hurt them.  All things considered the injuries on defense, the instability of the offensive line and wide receivers 0-2 playing good is a lot better than 0-2 and playing terrible.

From week one to week two the Giants improved their play. And that is without DRC who had first left the game with a shoulder injury only to return, make a great stop and suffer a concussion.  There is still plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball. This includes play and coaching.  Let’s take a quick look at the positives

  • Eli Manning:  Two games, no INT’s and two touchdowns.  Keep in mind it could have been 3 or 4 touchdowns.  He is one of 8 NFL starters with no interceptions and his connection with ODB shined threw on Sunday against the Falcons.  He takes responsibility for the Cowboy game but that was group effort of poor decision making.  Manning has kept the Giants in games and this should be noted.
  • Running game:  Collectively yes it’s creating yards and statistics. Over the past two games the GMEN have collected nearly 200-yards of rushing offense.  The problem is not one of the running backs has shown they should be the lead back.  Vareen is a specialist; Williams is the banger; and Jennings is the complete package. That was the plan. So far Williams has had a couple of great power runs including a 35-yard dash but like Jennings has yet to find a rhythm and consistency.  Over the two games the Giants are average 4.15 yards per rush. Keep in mind that Eli was the second leading rusher against the Falcons (1st half had 28 of the Giants 35 total rushing yards).  The running game will help loosen up the passing game and vice versa.
  • Rush Defense: A major topic of discussion relating to injuries which continue to pile on this season. The Giants are third in the NFL against the run average 3.0 per carry. It might not be a sexy statistic garnering a lot of discussion but not only is what they need it’s what is helping keep them in the game.
  • O’Dell Beckam Jr.: Not much of a show in Dallas but he showed off his skills set of getting separation and not getting separation to catch a ball. ODB also showcased his wheels taking  one of his 7-reception to the house.

For all the great there is a plenty of opportunities for improvement.

  • Offensive line:  It’s now becoming a seasons and not games in which the Giants have had the same five linemen play the same five positions. Injuries have been the leading the cause and with Erik Flowers injury against the Falcons there is a chance the same five guys who finished the game will be starting on Thursday.  Consistency will lead to success and right now the Giants are so far from consistent on the offensive line it’s really amazing how well they’ve played.
  • Pass Defense:  For as great as the Giants are against the rush they are horrible against the pass?  The Giants pass defense is so bad they’re last in the NFL allowing 702 passing yards over two games.  DRC is out this week which already leaves the Giants thin in the secondary.  The complete lack of pass rush does have a huge impact on this statistic but if you’re watching the games the opposing receivers are not only getting separation they’re wide open most of the time. This is fixable and it starts with a pass rush. The Giants have two sacks which still leaves them in the bottom 10% in the league.
  • Coaching: When you lose two games in the 4th quarter up by 10-points coaching has to come into question. This not only includes TC but position and coordinators.  The approach, strategy scheme there are a lot questions over two fourth quarters. But in all honestly the question marks start at kick-off and ends when the clock hits zero.  Consistency starts from the top and trickles down onto the field.

As I wrote last week it’s still way too early to positively identify who the Giants are. Given the NFC is literally falling apart (Romo, Dez, Witten, Murray, Bradford) the Giants might appear to be in bad sport but in all reality have the time and the ability to turn it around.  It starts with an NFC East win tomorrow night against the Redskins.

The Giants improved across the board last week against the Falcons including time of possession.  A continued positive step forward tomorrow can really make up for the errors over the past two weeks.

Let’s Go GMEN




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Week 1 ReCap: 1, 2……3? Maybe 2? I’m pretty sure it’s 3…

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You never want to look back on a game, no matter the game, and point to one specific play/possession that defined the outcome. The Giants were out played the entire game. The Cowboys moved the ball at will mostly without their star receiver Dez Bryant all game. The Cowboys turned the ball over and were miserable in the red zone. Yes Eli should have known how many time outs the Cowboys had. Yes he should have taken the sack and not thrown the ball away. Yes he was correct in telling Jennings not to score. No it wasn’t pass interference on DRC and the NFL did admit they blew that call along with the defensive holding on Daniel Fells. Those two plays won’t change the outcome of the game and if you believe they could then we’ll need to create a long list of other plays throughout the game that can blamed as well.
The stat line shows how lopsided this game really was. For example Tony Romo was 36 for 45 (80%) with 356 yards. Eli was 20 for 36 (54%) for 193 yards. The only statistic that was competitive was the “ehh” run game for both teams (99 yards for the Giants & 80 for the Cowboys). At the end of the game the Giants gave a game away that they had no right winning.
So onto week 2 against the Falcons who is coming off a wildly emotional win against the Eagles. Can the defense slow down the Falcons high power offense or at the very least can the Giants offense compete in a shootout? Injuries continue to the name of the game for the Giants. Cruz’s calf injury only appears to be getting worse and not better. Doctor’s said they’ve discovered blood in the muscle and as of today capped off a full 30-days since Cruz has practiced. Reuben Randle is plagued by knee tendonitis and it shows in his route running. Preston Parker has filled in at WR3 for the Giants in a very forgettable way. ODB was locked up and when he did get the ball the Cowboys were quick to swarm. During one hit (the biggest hit on ODB) Cowboy defensive back J.J. Wilcox broke his nose taking down ODB. The Cowboys made sure they were not going to be the second team to be scorched by Beckham. The defense is still without leader Jon Beason and defensive end JPP. Veteran leaders in the locker room and motivators on the field they are missed.
My first take away from the Cowboy game is the need for the front four of the Giants to create a pass rush. A problem that has plagued the team since 2011 without any pressure in today’s NFL the quarterback can simply pick apart the great coverage. Spags runs a simpler defensive scheme but the lack of pass rushes continues to be a major issue. Whether it is from the point attack or on the ends the Giants are going to have to pressure Atlanta. The first half of week 1 Julio Jones was putting on a route running show with Matt Ryan not facing much pressure behind the line. Meanwhile the Falcons were able to hit Bradford every other play and it stunted the high flying Eagles. This is what the Giants need to do this weekend and each game this season. Create pressure and to take pressure off Prince, DRC and Collins.
The offensive wasn’t perfect and that isn’t what we should expect. They played well and Erik Flowers really stepped up this first week. It’s a positive sign that if they can find some cohesion between the front five this offense will find its running game and round out. With a running back by committee consisting of Jennings, Williams and Vareen the Giants have the tools to be successful running now they just need to show it.
The Falcon’s looked good on both sides of the ball on Monday night football. They were able to establish a run game and Julio Jones put on a show. This will be a real test for the Giants defense. A key part of winning the battle will be getting them off the field on third downs. The Cowboys converted 6 of 11 third downs last week (54%). This number needs to be lower all season long and it starts with the pass rush.

Changes for week 2:

  • Win or balance the time of possession. The Cowboys had multiple 7+ minute drives and thankfully stalled in the red zone. The Giants need to win this battle.
  • Red zone efficiency was terrible. 1 of 4 and 1 of 2 in Goal to Go.
  • Get in rhythm on offense. There were spurts but nothing sustainable.
  • Create a pass rush and take pressure off secondary
  • Reduce the average play per yard on offense: Cowboys average 6.4 yards, waaaay to much.

This will not be an easy game and 0-2 is a honest and real situation. Yes we can quote the past, 0-2 in both recent super bowl runs. But that doesn’t really help anything.




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Posted in Regular Season

Here We Go…The Start of the 2015 Season…30-1 Super Bowl Odds

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The season is finally here and the team looks very different though the feelings about the season remain the same. The Giants had a lot of question marks on offense which they tried their best to address this off season. They took Erik Flowers in the first round and Bobby Hart in the 7th to address the offensive line issues. On defense General Manager Jerry Reece moved up in the draft for the first time in his history of being the Giants GM and grabbed Alabama’s Landon Collins at Safety and got a steal in the third with Owamagbe Odighizuwa at DE. They brought in a familiar face at defensive coordinator to resurrect fear in opponents. This quickly lost steam when JPP had a fireworks accident requiring a finger to be amputated. The season hasn’t started yet and injuries are dominating the Giants headlines. Training camp saw the safety position transform into a revolving door of free agents. As we head into week 1 even the beat writers can’t say with confidence what they expect from big blue on defense. The question marks were supposed to be on the offensive side of the ball not defensive. Just like the secondary the Giants offense is also reeling from injuries. There is no consistency or continuity on the right side of the offensive line, Cruz’s knee has been one upped by his calf problem, Randle’s camp has been hampered by tendentious in his knee which leaves ODB the lone healthy receiver. So what is the current state of the New York Giants and what can we expect from week 1?

Training camp wrapped up the first weekend in September with a lot of cuts that were not expected. Names like Hynoski, Weatherford and McClain. The moral of these veteran cuts was mostly due to business, Hyno savings after all the math is $90k over Nikita Whitlock whose value is that he plays on all four special teams units. McClain also suffered similar circumstances, due to make $2.5mm he was replaced by Uani Unga who had a great summer and comes with price tag of $435k. Mr. Weatherford who was being paid top 8 punter salary but is coming off two poor seasons of kicking (finishing 2014 in the bottom half of NFL punters) was let go and then replaced with a 7th round draft pick trade to the Steelers. The most disturbing detail to come out of this training camp was tied to the Giants cutting Brandon Mosley. With his departure there are now only five players that were drafted between 2008 and 2012 that remain on the roster. Toss in fourth round tight end Robinson and Jerry’s track draft report card is not so hot. But this draft did bring promise with Flowers, Collins, Odighizuwa, Davis and Hart. 2015 draftees is TBD.

This will be the second year for the McAdoo hybrid west coast offense and given the wide receiver woes via injury I’m not that concerned. The system isn’t made for a specific player; it’s a system that makes anyone great. If you can tell me how great Jordy Nelson, Cobb or Jermichael Finley were in college I would call you a liar. The system is based on timing and that is the biggest concern with the passing game. With Cruz out and Randle a constant question mark the passing game might need some time to develop. What does stink is crowd favorite Corey Washington was cut Injury/Waive. Geremy Davis the 6th round pick did have a good preseason but I would expect Preston Parker to be next man up given the WR unknown.

If the offense will take a few games to jell the defense might need a couple of more games. They didn’t look sharp when the first team was playing this preseason which doesn’t mean much but Spags defense is defined by its ability for the front four to create pressure. Unlike Fewell’s defense that also relied on this but came with a physics manual Spags defense is all about exploding off the ball and getting the offensive line on its heels. With JPP finally speaking with the Giants, failing his physical and returning to Florida to train it will be a real crap shoot to see how the front four performs. What are the chances the Safety situation just works out? Why not right? They load the damn position and everyone gets hurt. Now they’re down to the bare bones and we can only hope it works out. DRC on the corner had a great year last year, not splashy but solid. A repeat this year is needed and a healthy Prince could solidify the corners….big OLE COULD. History and injuries are not on the Giants side.

So here we go, same story, different season, new Defensive Coordinator, same head coach and super competitive NFC East. The Giants were 30-1 odds to win the super bowl. I’ll take that action all day long. They face the Cowboys on Sunday night, a team with equally as many questions. This should be a typical game Giants v. Cowboys game filled with messy play, penalties, full of drama and high scoring.




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Posted in Opinion, Regular Season